Environmental Influence on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)
In October, CEHC researchers were awarded more than $9 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the effects of a broad range of environmental exposures on children’s long-term health from near the time of conception through adolescence. The grant is a part of a seven year, multi-institute initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).
Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH and Robert Wright, MD, MPH will be leading Mount Sinai’s initiative in the multi-institutional study of the effects of chemical, nutritional, and social factors that influence child neurodevelopment. Additionally, CEHC Faculty member Susan Teitelbaum, PhD and Judy Aschner, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and University Chair of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will collaborate on another aspect of the ECHO study focusing on exposure to chemicals in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
In addition to serving as part of the ECHO consortium, CEHC researchers were awarded a further grant under the NIH’s Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR). This grant is designed to provide laboratory resources and other infrastructure to analyze samples, data, and other information collected through ECHO. Mount Sinai is the only institution to receive grants for two of CHEAR’s three components.
“We are very excited to be involved with the ECHO and CHEAR programs. Learning how social toxins and chemicals in our environment affect child health is vital and will help us identify how to best protect children everywhere.”
– Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, CEHC Deputy Director, Horace W. Goldsmith Professor of Pediatrics and Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Along with researchers at other institutions around the country, the Mount Sinai researchers will work to enhance existing cohorts of pediatric subjects who will be followed over the course of the seven-year project. In total, more than 50,000 children from diverse racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds will become part of the ECHO consortium. Following an initial two-year planning phase, additional resources may be allocated for the remaining five years, during which the various ECHO sites and researchers will work together to analyze existing data as well as to collect data in a standardized way across the consortium on environmental measures and clinical measures including pregnancy outcomes, obesity, asthma, and neurodevelopment.
“ECHO will make a huge impact in public health, as it is becoming clearer that the environment we experience as children has a major influence on our health as adults. Understanding the role of environment and health in children helps all of us, regardless of age.”
– Robert Wright, MD, MPH, CEHC Director, Professor and Ethel H. Wise Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health